Chanel brought its itinerant off-season fashion show the “arts and crafts”, with its swathe of VIPs including Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard, back to home ground in Paris to mark its first collection since Karl Lagerfeld died earlier this year. A peek at Chanel’s latest Mademoiselle Privé Tokyo exhibition New designer Virginie Viard teamed up with film director Sofia Coppola this season to imagine a cinematic opus that saw the house’s 1920s Rue Cambon atelier – replete with crystal chandeliers and mirrored cubist staircase – recreated under the lofty roof of the Grand Palais exhibition space. Unlike the seasonal collections that trickle down to set high street trends, the “arts and crafts” pre-collection aims at showing off and celebrating the work of the artisans that are the beating heart of Chanel, and the Paris fashion industry as a whole. Celebrating their technical know-how is one way that storied Paris heritage houses have tried to distinguish themselves in the face of increased competition from other fashion capitals, such as New York and Milan. From Dior to Chanel: the best of Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2020 The first looks, in black with oversized statement shoulders, were simple enough to let the embellishment do the talking: large, silvery, art-deco waistbands with beading, bejewelled cuff bands or large, geometric buttons with silver rims. A staple black jumper and knee length skirt were given life with rings of pearls that cascaded down to a black and gold chain belt that resembled the strap of the house’s iconic handbag. Camellias adorned ethereal feathers as prints, while ears of wheat were constructed in glimmering gold sequins. How Chanel, Fendi and Dior made our fantasies come true They set the agenda of the show. The fashion panache here was hidden in the details that were delivered with couture-like finesse. “The show was incredible,” said Cruz, who reminisced nostalgically about walking around Central Park at midnight with Lagerfeld last December after last year’s Egyptian-themed Chanel show in New York. Since 2002, the “arts and crafts” show has travelled around the world to highlight the fashion artistry of Parisian embroiderers, feathermakers, adornment-makers, pleaters, shoemakers, milliners and glovemakers. Paris Fashion Week: Why did Gigi Hadid accost a French YouTuber? After shows in Hamburg, Edinburgh, New York and other far-off locations, Chanel returned to the French capital where it may be the last chance in a long time to stage it at the Grand Palais, which is expected to close for renovations next year ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. This year’s homecoming echoes the very first show, held in the salons at 31 Rue Cambon – Chanel’s storied Paris atelier. Penelope Cruz among stars at Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel pre-fall 2019 show It was the late house founder Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel who first understood the need to support struggling artisans in the field in the 1950s, culminating in the creation of the body of crafts, Paraffection, in 1985. This vast network, which employs some 5,000 workers and includes famed embroider Lesage, does not work only for Chanel but also multiple other big names in the fashion industry. Karl Lagerfeld’s absence overshadows 18th-century-inspired show “There is something so generous about how Chanel has supported the Parisian fashion industry as a whole,” Cotillard said following the show. “Chanel is a sort of ambassador for France and Paris over the world and it makes me so proud,” she said. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .